(This series of The Remez has 5 Lessons)
In order to understand the full meaning of the scriptures that we will be studying together in search of our Jewish roots as Christians, we will need to understand the different ways of communication that was very common to the Jewish people at the time in history when our Lord appeared for His first time. Yeshua, is the Hebrew name that was given to Jesus, it will be the name that I will be using when identifying our Lord. It was Yeshua as well as the gospel writer’s that very often used these methods to communicate that we will be learning about. It was very common to only hint at something. The listeners were to pick up on the hint and understand the deep allegoric meaning that was being suggested rather than just the literal sense of what was being said. This method of communication is called “remez”.
Those of us educated in our western culture, have difficulty going beyond the literal sense of the thing, except for those western idioms that we are familiar with. When we say that “it’s raining cats and dogs” we do not take it literally. Rather it is a well known fact that this idiom means the there is a serious downpour of rain. Likewise in the scriptures there are hints and idioms that one needs to educate themselves about in order to fully understand that which is being said. One must put themselves in the Jewish arena of that time in history.
Unlike Christians of today, these men and some women were highly educated in the teachings of the First Covenant. (To call it the Old Testament is in my opinion suggesting that it is old and therefore not relevant for today. I highly disagree with this concept.) From the age of five the children were memorizing the scriptures, and their entire education was based on the Word of God. By the time Yeshua was 12 years old he would have memorized it in its entirety. That is why at that age He was about His Father’s business.
If I were to use remez today when speaking to a group of Christians, I would only need to say, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death”, and immediately everyone would know that I was referring to the 23rd Psalm. If I were to quote just one line of any other chapter of the bible, the likelihood of everyone knowing which chapter I was hinting at and what that chapter or portion of scripture was all about, would be questionable We have not educated ourselves to the same degree that the Jewish people did at that time in history.
In that day when someone was trying to make mention of some spiritual principal or to draw attention to some profound insight that is contained in the Word, they would just mention a phrase or sentence contained in that portion of scripture. For the most part everyone would know immediately what the entire sense of that portion of scripture was about, it would not be necessary to say anything more. They would get it!
Yeshua used this method of hinting at something through His entire ministry. We will be examining many of these hints or “remez” and the Jewish idioms that He used as we explore further our Jewish roots. For now, I wish to explore His last remez before His death. Although there are scholars that say Yeshua never once proclaimed to be the Messiah, this is in my opinion because they did not understand this awesome manna from heaven that was hidden in plain sight.
As was His method of teaching, He pointed His audience to the scriptures, even as He hung on the cross. He proclaimed to be the Messiah without actually announcing this fact. His method to do this was “remez”. What He did was cry out in great agony and with His last breath he communicated, I am THE ONE, you have been waiting for, I am THE ONE the scriptures have foretold. He then cried in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”? Pointing his audience to the chapter that the sages considered to be about the Messiah, His suffering, His Praise and His Posterity. All ears hearing His last words, would have immediately thought of the opening lines of Psalm 22 which begins with:
My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
Yeshua then, proclaims, “IT IS FINISHED” hangs His head and dies. These words, “it is finished” are the last words of Psalm 22. Most translations however have the English words: That He has done this, or something similar. The Hebrew thought for that phrase would be: “It is finished”. Saints, we have a double remez taking place on the cross hinting of a much deeper truth to the crowd of on lookers and to all seekers of truth from generation to generation, that the prophetic scriptures pointing to the Messiah of Israel were being fulfilled in that hour.
Following is the Messianic Psalm that Yeshua was quoting in order to proclaim that He was the one these scripture were speaking of. This Psalm is a prophecy about the promised Messiah. Yeshua, was saying the things that were prophesied about me are happening at this very hour, right before your eyes.
Psalm 22 1-31 from the New King James
My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning? 2 O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent. 3 But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel. 4 Our fathers trusted in You; They trusted, and You delivered them. 5 They cried to You, and were delivered; They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.
6 But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people. 7 All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 8 "He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!"
Mark 15: 29-32 (NKJV) And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, "Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 save Yourself, and come down from the cross!" 31 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, "He saved others; Himself He cannot save. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe." Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.
Matthew 27: 43 He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.' "
Psalm 22: 9 9 But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother's breasts. 10 I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother's womb You have been My God. 11 Be not far from Me, For trouble is near; For there is none to help.
12 Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me. 13 They gape at Me with their mouths, Like a raging and roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, And all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death. 16 For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; 17 I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. 18 They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.
Mark 15: 24 And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take.
Psalm 22: 19 But You, O LORD, do not be far from Me; O My Strength, hasten to help Me! 20 Deliver Me from the sword, My precious life from the power of the dog. 21 Save Me from the lion's mouth And from the horns of the wild oxen! You have answered Me. 22 I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You. 23 You who fear the LORD, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!
24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from Him; But when He cried to Him, He heard. 25 My praise shall be of You in the great assembly; I will pay My vows before those who fear Him. 26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the LORD. Let your heart live forever! 27 All the ends of the world Shall remember and turn to the LORD, And all the families of the nations Shall worship before You.
28 For the kingdom is the LORD'S, And He rules over the nations. 29 All the prosperous of the earth Shall eat and worship; All those who go down to the dust Shall bow before Him, Even he who cannot keep himself alive. 30 A posterity shall serve Him. It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation, 31 They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, That He has done this. (Remember the Hebraic thought is “IT IS FINISHED”!)
For indeed, “It is finished”, Praise His name, for much of this prophecy is yet to be fulfilled in its entirety. What a day that will be when all nations will bow the knee and worship the King of Kings and the Lord of Lord’s who will rule the nations. Maranatha, Come Lord Yeshua (Jesus)!! To continue with this series click on Lesson 2-The Sound of The Shofar
Please pass this Jewish roots study on to those that you believe would be interested in studying the word through Hebrew eyes.
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